If a picture is worth a thousand words…

Sign Pic
then what does this picture say? And who is the audience?

As professionals in this field, we understand the message. But I’m not so sure about the consuming public. What assumptions do they make about WaLaw, Windermere, and Chuck Houston? Do they know who represented the seller, and who represented the buyer? Do they know the relationship between WaLaw on the one hand, and Windermere and Mr. Houston on the other?

In sharp contrast, all of us (the authors of this blog, many of its readers, most of its commenters) know exactly the answers to these questions. WaLaw listed the property on the MLS, and Mr. Houston (licensed through Windermere) found a buyer. The seller paid WaLaw a sum of money. WaLaw then shared some (or, as in this case, most) of the money with Windermere, which then shared most of it with Mr. Houston. We get it. We perfectly understand the message sent by a “Sold by” sign hung on a yard sign.

So really, the audience must be us, at least in large part. Otherwise, the message would be re-worked to connect with the true audience and not just us. And this raises the question: What’s the point of providing us with this information? What do the “speakers” hope to gain from imparting this message?

Frankly, I’m not sure of the answer. I do know that, in the future, WaLaw will use its own “Sold” sign rather than the selling agent’s “Sold by” sign. That, in my mind, will simplify the message significantly and allow me to connect with the consuming public, the audience I want to reach. Hopefully, a layperson, when seeing the sign, will conclude only that WaLaw Realty helped this seller in selling her property. That’s the message I want to send, and as it stands now, I’m not sure that message is getting across.

Post Script: WaLaw will now be posting โ€œSOLD

88 thoughts on “If a picture is worth a thousand words…

  1. Too true Craig. Before I became an agent I was always confused by this configuration. Surely, WA Law sold the place, not Chuck Houston? If I was going to pick up the phone and call one of the two, it would the bigger sign that had been hanging there for a few weeks since I would have thought that WA Law were the ones who sold the place and hence must know what they’re doing. Previously, I would have thought that the Windermere agent was just piggy backing on the success of the listing agent.

    I’m guessing that the picture was taken in Ballard, home of Windermere domination, round-abouts and new construction?

    thanks, Conor

    • Nope and nope — but I’ll hold off on revealing the true neighborhood.

      And thanks for confirming my suspicion — buyer’s don’t understand the message.

      • Aloha Craig, We just bought a house in Seattle and will be moving over next month. It depends on if it’s the picture or the sign. If the picture it depends on who took it and where it’s published.
        First impression from the picture was WALAW(wish we had known you existed when we were looking) was the listing agent and Windermere was the buyers agent. Then without reading the text I kind of smiled to myself because you could feel the energy of the Windermere agent getting the sign ,taking it to the house and happily putting it over the for sale sign. Was there a multi offer situation? Did the list escape from the Windermere agent when it went up? As a recent buyer in Seattle with no connections in the area it looked childish to me like “ha ha I win”(Windermere side). On the other hand I found out about your company which I would use to sell ,if we do in the future just because of the legal knowledge you bring to the table and your ability to look at things in a not so serious way.

        • Your first impression was correct. But what is it about “Sold by…” that told you he was the BUYER’s agent? I would think that a layperson would not make that connection. When we think of using an agent to represent us, do we really think he’s trying to sell us something? Shouldn’t it be our decision, made without influence? (And “influence” is what a “salesman” does.)

          Thank you for apprciating my sense of humor — not everyone does! ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Craig, I went back and looked at the picture again and as a non involved(not my house)(not the buyer)(not in the industry)view I didn’t even see the word “by” at least not the first time. It was a sold thingy on top of a for sale sign and the person that bought it was being taken around by the Windermere agent and that person liked your listing best. As a consumer , not involved personaly the “by” meant nothing if I were involved it would have looked like”BY!!!!!!!”.
            In our household a quirky sense of humor is required.

  2. Craig,

    I do not use “sold strips” for that reason, unless my buyer client wants me to do that…and sometimes they do, but not often. This is the only area in the Country where I have worked that did not have all signage in the agent for the seller’s control. I thought it was quite odd when I first saw it.

    I’m not sure you can unilaterally decide to tell agents they can’t put the sold strip on your sign though, given their right to do so is contained in the myriad of mls rules.

    As for the general public, the most common confusion is that the SOLD strip goes up when it is “signed around” vs. closed, so SOLD is not accurate. It should say “In Escrow” or Pending”. Very often people think SOLD means just that and I have to explain that if it were SOLD, there would be no sign at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I get so frustrated by the entire industry not understanding what we do. We represent a person, and so we “do” what “they” do, as their agent. If we represent a seller then yes, we are selling a home, and SOLD by is appropriate. BUT if we are representing a Buyer Client we are NOT “selling a home” at all!

    It should say (and I’m pretty sure it can) “The Buyers of this home were represented by” with no selling or sold language.

    We keep spitting out generation after generation of agents who think they sell a house to a buyer because the system and brokerages insist on using Sold, Selling Office, Selling Agent, and I do mean INSIST. I really don’t know why that is. Why do brokers insist that Agents for the Buyer Clients are “selling”? It’s obviously intentional and it just drives me bananas!

  3. Ardell — remember the days when you and I blogged Thunderdome-style (two bloggers in, only one blogger out)? Now, when I read your comments, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling!

    In all seriousness, you get it. and we agree. I too have been thinking of getting a “Buyer represented by…” style of sign where we represent the buyer (we certainly don’t “sell” anything in that instance).

    Now how about some of the other “usual suspects”? Mack? Leanne? Any comments??

  4. Craig,

    I’m fairly convinced this entire area is generally operating as sub-agents for the seller vs. Buyer’s Agents. The odd thing is that the Agency Law permits that by saying “you represent the buyer…unless you are a…sub-agent…”for the seller (among other exceptions). So sub-agency is an allowed form of representation in WA. It seems for the most part that agents are using “buyer agent” as a Title vs an actual legal representation status, and for the most part operate as sub-agents for the seller.

    Given the average broker and agent treat those as “semantics” vs legal differences, the system seems to be corrupted as a result. It would appear that in WA (unlike most areas) they worked around it by removing “fiduciary” duties and replacing them with statutory duties. Most states did not do that, and my guess is that is where the crux of the problem lies with little hope for change.

    I would, yes I would, rather see the entire system scrapped and replaced with ALL companies like yours, vs perpetuating “undisclosed sub-agency” ad nauseum. Perhaps removing “salesperson” from the actual licenses will help, but I doubt it. If all states adopted Transaction Brokerage, as Florida did, at least the system would have an element of honesty. As it stands it is simply corrupted.

    My pollyanna-ish hope is that someone with the power to fix this will read these discussions on the internet and “get it” and fix it…even if that is posthumously. So that we agree, and that “I’m preaching to the choir” does not stop me from expounding on the topic, as I do firmly believe that at least one person reading this will be influenced for the better as a result of the exchange.

  5. Craig said: “Shouldnโ€™t it be our decision, made without influence?”

    I don’t think “without influence” is at all “correct”. Clearly my clients expect me to “influence” their decisions based on valuation, negatives they may not readily notice and will not be picked up by an inspector, etc…

    “No Influence” would not be representation…it would be a mediator or transaction broker.

    • Ardell — this is where our views differ. I approach my practice with the intent of providing my clients will all of the information necessary for them to make the decision that is right for them. I don’t pretend to know that answer as I am not them and therefore I can never fully appreciate their situation, attitudes, desires, etc. In fact, I get uncomfortable when a client asks me, “What would you do?” I’m not this client (i.e. he/she is a different person) and therefore what I would do is only marginally relevant to what the client should do, and its relevance is outweighed by the client’s natural inclination to accept my decision as his or her own.

      You, on the other hand, clearly have no problem in telling a client what he or she should do. That is your nature and you are completely comfortable with it. I respect that difference.

      “Representation” by definition includes a degree of influence, no doubt. The exact degree, though, is open to debate as well as each counselor’s personal style. Perhaps I should have said “without undue influence” as that still makes my point (leaving for another day what constitutes “undue influence”). A salesman by definition will exercise undue influence in order to sell the product; a representative, who is concerned only with the customer’s well being, should not.

  6. Craig,

    The MLS will not allow you to put your sign, or remove the selling agent’s sign when they are the rightful buyer’s agent. However, they are not allowed to put their sign up until the offer is pending, and you can put your sign up if they don’t put their sign up within 3 days of such. However, they can remove your sign and put their sign up at any time prior to closing.

    Sold by means Chuck sold the home… the seller was represented by the law firm. If I were a seller and lived in a neighborhood that I constantly saw that Chuck sold listings in the hood, I would call Chuck to see if he might be interested in listing my home… he obviously knows buyers that want to be in that neighborhood… Besides, I think the SOLD by signs stand out more than the listing agent sign.

    • Jason — thanks for the rules synopsis. Obviously I still need to confirm that any action I take is appropriate under the rules. Thanks for the heads up.

      As for the message: Your interpretation may not be shared by the consuming public. I mean, don’t agents promote themselves as buyer representatives (they’ll negotiate a better price, assist in analysis of property, etc.)? And if a layperson has that understanding, why would they think that Chuck “sold” the home? Aren’t “selling” and “representing” two different things?

      An even greater irony is that your interpetation is based on the notion that an agent works best as a dual agent (seller’s see that Chuck has a lot of buyer clients in the area so they hire Chuck to sell the home, presumably to one of his buyer clients). Yet dual agency is an absolute relic and something that no informed consumer should be comfortable with. In this day and age, there is no reason why each party should not have its own dedicated representative.

  7. That is correct and as it should be, as I charge a lot more than you do ๐Ÿ™‚ I absolutely answer the question of “what would I do if I were you” or what would my advice be if you were my daughter or family member. Not in every single case, but in most. If I can’t do that, or my client does not want me to do that, then I reduce my fee accordingly.

    Good rationale for why there should be at least five options in the marketplace for home buyers, and service providers who fully understand the differences, and the influence those SHOULD have on the amount charged.

    I do think we will see that day…the day where there is not a “one size fits all” commission amount. Seattle is far ahead of the Country on that one. Everyone throwing around the term “full service” as if they are all the same is just not credible, by anyone’s stretch of the imagination.

    “customer’s well being”, “full service”, “undue” influence…all difficult to define in words, and yet easy to recognize when applied…or not.

  8. You’ve come a long way in the past couple of years.

    Your writing is still inflammatory, but it’s all free advertising.

    My issue is:
    “WaLaw then shared some (or, as in this case, most) of the money with Windermere

    It’s a slight at best.

    Then you follow that with:
    “WaLaw Realty helped this seller in selling her property” “Thatโ€™s the message I want to send,”

    From your post, though, you say: “WaLaw listed the property on the MLS, and Mr. Houston (licensed through Windermere) found a buyer.”

    So how did you help the seller? You say you listed the property on the MLS. That’s sounds like that’s all you did. You may, or may not have prepared the paper work. You may, or may not have, negotiated the terms. You could have been simply a go between. You may have only advised about the legal aspects of the transaction.

    Now for my plug, we prepare properties for sale. We plant the pansies that get the house sold. How can your service compare to that?

    I’m just saying, that you, as opposed to all the other people on the internet, are making positive steps in the right direction. You are putting together a business plan that may be extremely beneficial to the consumer. So you should be a little more about who you are.

    Keep it up, you’re doing a good thing.

    • First, David, thank you for the kind words and encouragement. And yes, we provided this buyer with all law and legal-related services she required, plus syndication of her listing, plus professional photos — all of our services are listed here.

      I would also note that you writing style has also evolved significantly over the last few years. I understood probably 90% of what you wrote! ๐Ÿ˜‰ (I’m not sure how I “should be a little more about who” I am…)

      Finally, you’re right, WaLaw will not plant pansies. For that kind of service — full-press, over-the-top, get-this-house-sold approach — you need to hire a “full service” agent and pay full freight. No doubt about it.

  9. Craig, ask yourself , are you truly assisting your client right by leaving the sign on the property with a SOLD banner across the top?

    Do you know that you are (possibly) inhibiting its potential sale by eliminating others from even entertaining an offer in back-up position with that SOLD strip on the sign?

    Did you think ahead by realizing that SOLD strip could eliminate another potential Buyer if this turns to a SALE FAIL?

    Doing what is truly in the best interests of your client involves knowing the Rules as set forth by the NWMLS #140 (C) and advising your client PROPERLY on YOUR limitations set forth by the NWMLS but the rights the consumer has in/re to the sign on their property.

    Not sure if you catch my drift but I encourage you to do whats truly in the best interests of your client and educate them properly.


    Horrible mistake in color and image of your sign choice. It too closely resembles the Windermere letters font and colors. The public driving by has a millisecond to look at your sign and will think it was Windermere.

    Very bad branding!!

    All that said…I just had lunch with someone yesterday that was using your services. Guess what I said? A very fine choice!

    • OMG! I’m getting marketing advice from Ray Pepper, man of the “500Realty.net!!” infomercial! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      You raise some good points, Ray, as to whether any sort of “Sold” sign is in my clients’ interests when installed prior to closing. As Jason pointed out, there are NWMLS rules on point. Obviously, before I make any changes in our business practice in this regard, I must first and foremost consult the rules to confirm that any action taken is appropriate. I assure you I will do so.

      And what did that “someone” with whom you had lunch say about us? The vast majority of our clients are exceptionally satisfied with the work we do for them.

  10. Obviously, before I make any changes in our business practice in this regard*

    Don’t make any changes because per rule 140 C :

    “In no event shall the selling office be deprived of its right to post its “SOLD” strip and remove the listing office “Sold” strip. ”

    However, as I stated again YOUR Brokerage must obide by these rules. Not your seller with who you represent. Think outside the box on this one.

    It just comes back to educating your client and increasing their ability (in this case) to sell the property.

    Well as you can imagine I cannot fathom the thought of someone NOT using 500 Realty when Buying. So when I heard it was you I questioned. Yes, he paid the 500 up front and reminded me if he doesn’t close within 6 months he will have to pay the remaining 2500 but your representation will carry over whenever he decides to buy.

    I asked why he chose to do this. He stated that what he is looking for is a very specific property/lot with a high probability of many variances and county regulations for building his home. I reminded him he needed a builder as an “advisor” at this stage far more then a Brokerage. He is educated enough to locate his own property on his own. He is hoping your legal expertise will facilitate this transaction more then a 500 Realty model or Brick and Mortar.

    So far no problems and satisfied. Please keep in mind, I never, attemped to solicit your client. Most clients would not stray anyway once they have some skin (500.00) in the game. Once you collect the remaining 2500 you have a client LOCKED as long as you stay afloat.

  11. See? Inflammatory.

    You have made claims about being better than Real Estate agents. One of the points that I make is that Real Estate is a small community. If you are better at representing a buyer or seller it’s never come across to me as a positive.

    I would like to know more about who you are. You are headed in the right direction. People are going to need more legal representation in Real Estate transactions.

    So some of things I would like to be able to pass along are why you chose this Agency approach, what is your target demographic, are you looking to expand as a Brokerage or Legal Practice.

  12. David:

    This “Agency approach” is a natural fit with my existing law practice. As I’ve argued now for some time, the modern approach to real estate agents — and particularly from the buyer side — has been away from their historical role of agent for the selller — i.e., salespersons — towards representation of a party to adequately protect her interests. In other words, the modern trend is towards sort of a “lawyer-lite”, of course retaining the agent’s skill and knowledge about value, markets, property condition, etc.

    Layered on top of that is the reality that real estate agents (and/or, perhaps, brokers) are, on a transaction-by-transaction basis, overpaid (given the requisite knowledge/skill/education, given the actual hours worked, given the value of the services provided — pretty much by any metric you can imagine.). So I saw a competing business model that was ripe for competition and ready to lose some market share to a better model. That’s how I chose this “Agency approach.”

    Our target demographic: Sophisticated and savvy owners or buyers who are willling to do some of the leg work themselves in order to save thousands — and possibly tens of thousands — of dollars, and who also appreciate the benefits of hiring a lawyer rather than an agent. Educated self-starters, in other words.

    Finally, am I looking to expand? You better believe it. We’ll make decent livings when we handle some volume. We’re getting new space, looking to hire one or more paralegals/agents, and preparing to ramp up our marketing budget.

  13. The distinction between agent, and attorney, is that, in my opinion, an agent works in the field, opens doors, follows inspections, and makes recommendations about value to better structure an offer.

    • What if the attorney employs a paralegal who is also a licensed salesperson? And that paralegal works in the field, opens doors, follows inspections, and makes recommendations about value? And what if the attorney ALSO makes recommendations about value? What happens to your distinction at that point?

  14. You are opening up a discussion of substance.

    Value is a point of experience rather than data. Sales data, as we all now know, can be deceiving. It does depend in part on personal preferences as well as the use, and future use, of the land. Value is a complex thing.

    I’ve been lucky about values. Up, down, good, bad, and sideways, knock wood, I have never made a bad transaction. There was a guy who let me write up his offers for a couple of years who is a genius. It was just a stupid thing that he would walk into a place, give it a thumbs up, or down, and he would make money. Other people would also follow his advice.

    So my question is should some one hire me, or you? I’m an absolute moron, but I know my properties. Geographically speaking I know from Downtown to 145th, from Puget Sound to Lake Washington. I know a lot of houses in that area, and what’s good to have in a product, house. The other thing is that I know construction costs of most items on an inspection. I have 40 years of home maintenance experience.

    So where is the value of your service over mine? Is my value worth more, if I know what I’m looking at in a property?

    • David:

      Its safe to say we each bring a different skill set — and thus a different value — to any transaction. The question in my mind is, “Is the value worth the actual COST?” You will charge your client 3% of the total sale price, a fee that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. I, on the other hand, charge three grand, period. Thus, my fee will be on quarter to one fifth of your fee, and possibly as little as one tenth or even less. Yes, in a few — or many, or perhaps even most — instances your knowledge and experience is superior to mine such that you are worth some extra money. But THAT much extra money? That’s an open question in my mind.

      Your argument breaks down even further if we consider an agent generally vs. a lawyer generally. Its a valid consideration because obviously there just isn’t enough of you to go around — there are a lot more home buyers and sellers than who you can represent at any one time. If we’re talking generally, then I think a lawyer’s value, particularly when considered with the actual cost of capturing that value, is far superior to an agent’s. As I’ve argued at length (some would even say ad nauseam ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) lawyers are generally speaking superior to agents. At this point, you could hire a “full service” law firm, complete with additional services of an appraiser or someone else specifically trained to look for value in property, for less money than what you pay a “full service” real estate agent. Now THAT’s a system that is out of whack and needs correcting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. David said: “There was a guy who let me write up his offers for a couple of years who is a genius.”

    THAT guy is clearly Craig’s “target market”. Maybe you can give Craig his phone number. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Craig,

    As Ray mentioned, the Northwest MLS has a very specific rule (140c) that gives the selling office the right to post their sold strip. If they don’t do so, you can post your own within 72 hours.

    Whether you agree or disagree with the message, we are all bound by the MLS rules and the spirit of broker cooperation that they represent. You can’t unilaterally post your own sold sign until the selling office has had a chance to do so.

    • Thanks, Kevin. As I told Jason above: “Thanks for the rules synopsis. Obviously I still need to confirm that any action I take is appropriate under the rules. Thanks for the heads up.”

  17. Well you never actually say why a lawyer is superior. It’s simply an assertion that you make.

    That aside, most people make better choices by hiring an agent who can guide them, either toward a higher value property, or away from properties that have issues. Many people, if not most people, in the past five years have lost much more than the price of the commission by buying over priced properties. That’s just a fact of life today.

    The second part is that a 3% commission on $300K is $9K, you charge $3K for a savings of $6K. I can say with great assurance that my service of accumulated knowledge related specifically to Real Property is worth far more than the $6K.

    I can think of a couple of dozen agents today in my area that are well worth far more than the discount you offer. I still think the issue is to get rid of the people who don’t provide value to the Real Estate transaction rather than expand on fee generation of worthless services.

    Many agents have talked about a menu of services. Michele Martineau (sp?) had a complete concept of that 10 years ago. It never goes anywhere because people expect Real Estate agents to work for free. People want all the free stuff, and pay when they are “captured” by a sale.

    The internet has fed off of this desire by offering home searches. These forums are offering free advice. Once some one has sold themselves on a property there is a list of people who will discount the commission to write it up. It’s just a continuation of the same problems. People pay too much, are stuck with properties that have sever issues, or they are unprepared for home ownership in general.

    Saying people are bright, and capable, is ignoring the fact people are emotional about the dreams they have.

  18. David — I’d prefer to reply in greater detail, but my first attempt (which took about 30 minutes) was labeled “too spammy”.

    1) Check out my four part series of prior posts: Lawyers Provide Better Representation

    2) My services are not “worthless.” If you think they are, then you must also think that the ONLY VALUE you bring is your knowledge of “Real Property,” because much of what I do is also done by agents.

    3) If that’s the only value of an agent, why is it that a brand new agent, without the vast experience and knowledge, charges the same fee?

    4) You are remarkably paternalistic and demeaning to consumers. You flat-out believe you know what is best for them because they are too “emotional” to make a good decision. In fact, they’re not sophisticated enough to even grasp the method of compensation by which agents get paid (people only want the “free stuff”). Sorry, but I refuse to accept that argument. I don’t presume to be all-knowing or more attuned to what is best for any person. I think each person needs to decide that for themselves (with, certainly, a knowledgable expert to guide them — but it is THEIR decision, THEY know best). Any consumers out there who find this as offensive as I do?

    5) Finally, the vast majority of people who bought in the last five years used an agent and paid the 3%. Yet as you point out, these same people have now lost lots of money. This is NOT an argument that everyone should continue using a 3% full service agent, as you argue. Rather, this is an argument that the current system does not work well. Would I have prevented these losses had everyone used me? Of course not. But, they would have saved 2.5% of the price, which in turn would reduce their net loss on the purchase. Not enough to salvage the retirement plan, but still a savings of thousands of dollars.

  19. Craig,

    I couldn’t find your comment in the spam bin. I would have liked to see it.

    Slightly off topic, but I’ve been wondering about this for some time. What happens in your system of charges if a buyer makes 3 offers, or cancels on inspection and buys a different house? Does each offer have the same charge over again?

    • Same points, just stated more eloquently…

      Fee agreement with the firm covers up to three offers or two failed transactions (e.g. inspection, financing, etc.) whichever occurs first. If those services are exhausted (e.g. offer on house A rejected, offer on house B rejected, offer on house C accepted but seller refused concessions based on inspection so deal terminated) then the client needs to pay us another flat fee of the same amount ($995) for the same services.

      The brokerage services are flat fee for the included services, hourly thereafter.

  20. The public has much more on their daily minds than being concerned whether Chuck is a sub-agent of the seller or buyerโ€™s agent, dissimilating which office is the listing office, etc. All of these facets of Northwest Multiple rules evolved almost entirely on the basis of agents and attorneys attempting to position themselves in the market. A sellerโ€™s expectation is getting the home sold expeditiously at the best possible price and terms serving their needs, with as little inconvenience possible. Purchasers expect assistance in navigating the selection process and bringing matters to a successful closing while reasonably serving their interests. When this happens, word travels fast and more business follows. Conversely when it doesnโ€™t, brokers working the area need not be concerned with rules, policies or perceptions about yard signs and sold strips, as neither will be present.

    • Indeed, nothing beats quality service for marketing. That said, my busniss might require a little more, simply because it is so substantially different from the longstanding status quo.

  21. You brought up a discussion of substance. The system of Real Estate Brokerage we have in place is badly broken. It is a ya’ll come kind of business. People have been hurt.

    Most people want advice. They ask for advice. It’s a collaboration. The question is how best to be compensated for that collaboration.

    You focused on the free stuff, which people want. Another fact of life is that people want free stuff.

    In my opinion the internet is a good place for that. We have a couple of sites set up for information about Seattle, how to buy property, and how to fix property.

    So you can call it demeaning, but Real Estate, each property, and each person offers a wide variety of circumstances. Rather than focus on how cheaply, or easily, a home purchase can be, I prefer to look at the Quest for the Best service possible.

    All cards on the table, in my opinion, consulting will be a new thing done outside of Brokerages.

      • The majority of the public wishes to avoid both real estate brokers and law firms, whether consciously or subconsciously. This is an obstacle both fields have in common to instill public trust and provide benefits, not just cost. Until this is done, I doubt the public will champion the idea of having both parishioners or this would have evolved years ago when we went from a single page purchase agreement, to a multitude of pages, and misc. attachments today. Most attorneys have no interest in many of the other venues of service agents provide, conversely agents often are not qualified to offer legal advice, and therefore the situation doesn’t need to be adversarial.

  22. Post Script: WaLaw will now be posting “SOLD” strips!

    We decided that the logo-placement benefit outweighed the inconsistency between our model and the contents of the strip. Note that there is no “by” on the sign. In other words, the house has been sold, as indicated, and WaLaw was involved in that process. Admittedly, in a perfect world our strip would say “Sold to a buyer represented by WaLaw” but (a) that would never fit, and (b) that would not comply with MLS rules. So instead, we keep it simple. But rest assured, and notwithstanding what is admittedly implied by the sign, WE did not SELL anything…

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